Today’s prompt is to write a sound poem! Kate Greenstreet’s poetry is spare, but gives a very palpable sense of being spoken aloud – it reads like spoken language sounds. In our interview with her, she underscores this, stating that “when you hear it, you write it down.” Today, we challenge you to honor this idea with a poem based in sound. The poem, for example, could incorporate overheard language. Perhaps it could incorporate a song lyric in some way, or language from something often heard spoken aloud (a prayer, a pledge, the Girl Scout motto). Or you could use a regional or local phrase from your hometown that you don’t hear elsewhere, e.g. “that boy won’t amount to a pinch.”
Have written a sound poem based on holidays in India, in my in-laws place, when the whole family gathers and days seem short for laughter and conversations and the nights seem forced as we must go to bed so that we can make the most of tomorrow.
Hear the laughter of the children
In the garden,
chuckle, chuckle, snort, snort
And something in my heart I feel –
a sip of hot chocolate on a cold, winter’s night
the crackling of fire, a book and a warm, woolen throw over my feet
Hear the stifled whispers of the teens,
Behind closed doors
giggle, giggle, hush, hush… now it gets louder
secrets, fantasies, dreams they share
And in my throat I feel a lump,
the loud chirping of birds at the break of dawn
and then a silence when in to the horizon, they are gone
Hear the chortle of the adults
In the lounge
A laugh, ha ha, a roar, a guffaw
A soft, kind voice, “Sh…the neighbors may be sleeping”
In my mind, I thank the Lord
A quiet smile I cannot stop
For a home filled with laughter, I’m blessed.
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